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How to Degauss Your Hard Drive You may want to learn how to degauss a hard drive if you wish to permanently erase all data stored in it for safe disposal or recycling purposes. Degaussing is a kind of demagnetizing that involves subjecting an object like a hard drive to a magnetic field that has a stronger, fluctuating intensity. The machine that generates the intense magnetic field is called a degausser. Subjecting your hard drive to this strong, shifting magnetic field causes its magnetic charge to be reset to a neutral state. In case the magnetic charge of the memory object resets to neutral, the data it holds is lost permanently. If you want to buy a degausser to erase the data in your hard drive, it’s good to know that there are various types of these devices that employ different degaussing technologies. You may buy a coil degausser or the one that relies on capacitive discharge or a permanent magnet. With a coil degausser, there’s a steel core that’s wrapped in copper wire, which when activated, produces an alternating electromagnetic field. The electromagnetic field generated by the degausser is present as long as the device is on, and that can lead to the overheating of the coil. To prevent the overheating of the coil, an ac degausser should have a restricted duty cycle. Degaussing devices using large coils are fitted with fans for cooling the coil and prolonging the duty cycle.
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A degausser that’s powered by capacitive discharge technology creates and stores energy in massive capacitors. When switched on, the capacitors are fully stored with energy, which they discharge to produce an immensely strong electromagnetic pulse. There is a short-lived burst of energy that does not overheat the coil during the degaussing process. That’s why capacitive discharge degaussers have a continuous duty cycle. Owing to the fact that energy is released in the manner of a pulse with capacitive discharge degaussers, the devices are sometimes called pulse degaussers.
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If you desire the power to use a degausser nonstop for say, seven days every week, attempt the permanent magnet variety because it does not have an electronic part that may overheat. These varieties of degaussers are fitted with magnets of different sizes, and the bigger ones are capable of producing extremely intense magnetic fields. If you want to degauss any memory device, be sure that you’re done using it because there’s a chance that it cannot be used again on your computer once degaussed. Devices such as hard drives use servo tracks that carry information which helps the computer interface with them for reading purposes. Degaussing wipes off the servo tracks plus all other data, making it impossible for your computer to recognize the device in its degaussed state.